Everything You Need to Know About the Ocean Race Before It Hits Newport in May

February 10, 2023

Corinthian Events and Newport Hospitality are proud and excited to once again partner with Sail Newport for the Newport Stopover of the 2022-2023 Ocean Race. You may be asking, what is The Ocean Race? What happens during the week of the Newport Stopover? Well, we’ve got you covered. Whether you need the full rundown or just a quick refresher, here is everything you need to know about The Ocean Race before it sails through Newport this May.


What is the Ocean Race?

The Ocean Race is regarded as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world. A six-month sailing adventure, The Ocean Race is a true test of human strength, endurance, and teamwork. The 60,000-kilometer journey around the globe includes stopovers on almost every continent. Teams of incredibly skilled sailing experts have dedicated years of their lives to try and win this world-class competition. This year’s Ocean Race has five competing teams representing Germany, France, Switzerland, the United States, and Europe collectively. They are sailing a high-performance racing yacht called IMOCA.


The Boats

If you are a sailor or have ever been on a sailboat, you think a nice relaxing sail, or if you are racing, perhaps a bit of invigoration, but the IMOCA is a whole other story. These boats have a top record speed of 38.5 knots, which is over 44 miles per hour…in a boat…on the open ocean!  As we say in New England, they are wicked fast and provide a true adrenaline rush. These boats are wild-looking with foils and dark sails, rising right up out of the water as if they are flying. This is not your grandfather’s sailboat!


The Newport Stopover

In Leg 4 of this year’s race, teams will sail north from Itajai, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island. The fleet will make their way across the equator and through the infamous Bermuda Triangle to arrive in Newport between May 10 and 12. Once teams reach Newport, they will have already completed almost 90% of the race!

It is no surprise that The Ocean Race is making its only North American stop in Newport. We do believe ourselves to be the Sailing Capital of the world! Newport has been home to sailing events such as America’s Cup Racing, Tall Ships Races, and the U.S. Olympic Trials for decades.

The Newport Stopover is a nine-day festival of family fun, interactive exhibits, and exciting sailing action beginning on May 13. Events will take place at the Ocean Live Park at Fort Adams State Park. The host city and partner for this week of events is Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center. Guests can participate in everything from outdoor games and entertainment to the One Blue Voice Immersive Experience. You can even get a spot on a Spectator Boat to watch the race up close. Click here to learn more about the week of activities.


How Does a Team win the Ocean Race?

In the simplest of terms, a team wins the Ocean Race by scoring more points than any of its competitors. At the end of each leg, teams are awarded points equal to the number of boats they beat, plus one. This is called a high-point scoring system. There are two opportunities for teams to score double points, the first being Leg 3 from Cape Town, South Africa to Itajai, Brazil. This 14,672-mile leg marks the longest stretch in race history! Teams can also gain double points after finishing the Transatlantic crossing from Newport, Rhode Island to Aarhus, Denmark. Pay close attention to the final leg of this year’s race as sometimes scores are too close to call up until the last few miles before the finish line.


Racing with Purpose

All teams competing in this year’s race are #RacingwithPurpose. The Ocean Race is working with 11th Hour Racing, a professional offshore sailing team in Newport and a Premier Partner of The Ocean Race, in their efforts to ensure sustainability throughout the competition. The Ocean Race is harnessing the unifying power of sporting events to inspire people to take action and join the organization in its dedication to protecting and restoring our seas. Click here to learn more about this year’s efforts and results.

The Ocean Race also launched One Blue Voice, a campaign for ocean rights to halt the decline of the sea. To learn more about One Blue Voice and how you can get involved, head to the campaign website here.


How to Follow

Want to keep up with the rest of this year’s race? There are plenty of places to follow along! The Racing page on the Ocean Race website is your hub for updates in real-time, scoreboards from each leg, content from the boats, and more. Each sailing team has an onboard reporter tasked with documenting the team’s entire journey. To watch video coverage of the race, head to the Eurosport YouTube channel.

The Ocean Race social media platforms (@theoceanrace) are also great places to follow the coverage of the race. Keep up to date with team standings, videos on board, kick-off events in each city, and gorgeous shots of the boats in action. For local content, check out The Ocean Race Newport and Sail Newport for updates, especially as we approach the Newport Stopover in May!



Originally named the Whitbread Round the World Race after its sponsor Whitbread Brewing Company, The Ocean Race began in 1973. The yacht race was a competition between amateur teams of sailors who simply wanted to take part in the adventure. In 2001, the sailing competition we know today received an upgrade, and a name change, when the Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo took over the race’s sponsorship. Volvo has since sold the race but remains a Premier Partner.

As the competition evolved and the route increased in difficulty, amateur sailing teams were eventually replaced with highly skilled professionals. 2023 marks 50 years since the start of The Ocean Race and this year’s route is the most advanced and challenging yet.


Hopefully, you are now more familiar with The Ocean Race and are just as excited about the Newport Stopover as we are. Competing teams leave Itajai, Brazil, and begin their trek to Newport on April 23, so be sure to follow along and cheer them on!


Information in this post comes from the official Ocean Race websites. Head to or to dive even deeper into all things The Ocean Race.

Photo courtesy of 11th hour racing team on Instagram (@11thhourteam)


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